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Robert E. Shank PapersAdd to your cart. | Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives

Title: Robert E. Shank PapersAdd to your cart.
ID: FC/FC034
Extent: 74.0 Linear Feet
Predominant Dates: 1946-1980
expand icon Biographical/Historical Note

Robert E. Shank (1914-2000) was a graduate of Washington University School of Medicine, Class of 1939, and a resident at Barnes Hospital (1939-1940) and at St. Louis Isolation Hospital (1941). In late 1941 he became an assistant in research and resident physician at the hospital of the Rockefeller Institute in New York. While retaining these positions, RES entered the U.S. Navy in 1942 and was assigned to the hospital’s Naval Research Unit. Returning to civilian life in 1946, he became an associate of the New York Public Health Research Institute. In 1948 RES was called to his alma mater in 1948 to become Danforth Professor of Medicine and head of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health.

As head of Preventive Medicine, RES brought a new research emphasis to his department, that being nutrition studies. He contributed to many projects in this specialty of national and international importance. He was particularly associated with the formation of standards for minimum dietary allowances by the National Research Council Food and Nutrition Board. He served as a consultant to the U.S. Public Health Service, the Interdepartmental Committee on Nutrition for National Defense, the Pan American Health Organization, and several food industry associations. Under his leadership, the scope of the department broadened to include work in rehabilitation, health maintenance organizations, biostatistics, applied physiology, and lipid research.

RES became professor emeritus in 1981. He proved to be the last regular head of the department: after five years under interim leadership, Preventive Medicine and Public Health was discontinued in January 1987 and its faculty and programs assigned to other departments, notably Internal Medicine.

expand icon Access and Use Restrictions
Restrictions: The collection is open and accessible for research.

Users of the collection should read and abide by the Rights and Permissions guidelines at the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives.

Users of the collection who wish to cite items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication must request, sign, and return a Statement of Use form to the Archives.

For detailed information regarding use of this collection, contact the Archives and Rare Book Department of the Becker Library (

Related Materials: Oral History Interview
Preferred Citation: [Item description, Box number, Folder number], Robert E. Shank Papers, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University School of Medicine.
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Finding Aid/Collection Inventory
Series 1: National activities, 1945-1977.
Series 2: Hospital functions, 1975-1979.
Series 3: Community activities, 1948-1975.
Series 4: American Heart Association, 1973-1979.
Series 5: Washington University activities, 1949-1975.
Series 6: Local activities, 1950-1977.
Series 7: Professional associations, 1947-1966.
Series 8: National and government activities and committees, 1949-1964.
Series 9: Miscellaneous files, 1943-1972.
Series 10: Office of the Surgeon General-Army, 1957-1969.
Series 11: Irene Walter Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, 1943-1961.
Series 12: Clinic Building - David P. Wohl, Jr. Washington University Clinic, 1954-1962.
Series 13: National Research Council - Food and Nutrition Board, 1945-1963.
Series 14: Clinical Applications and Prevention Advisory Committee (CAPAC), 1970-1979.
Series 15: General correspondence, 1947-1975.
Series 16: Notes from a laboratory of medical statistics, 1959-1966.
Series 17: Peru nutrition survey, 1959-1964.
Series 18: Northeast Brazil nutrition survey, 1960-1965.
Series 19: General correspondence, 1949-1974.
Series 20: General correspondence, 1949-1968.
Series 21: Early laboratory methods and records, 1945-1962.
Series 22: American Medical Association, Council on Foods and Nutrition, 1948-1969.
Series 23: General correspondence, 1956-1981.
Series 24: Miscellaneous files, 1951-1981.
Series 25: General correspondence, 1960-1981.
Series 26: Laboratory files, 1941-1956.
Series 27: Research notebooks from laboratory, 1946-1975.
Series 28: Nutrition survey manuals, 1957-1967.
Series 29: Reprints, 1941-1982.
Series 30: Oral history, 1980.

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